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YOUR PLACE GET THAT VINTAGE-KITCHEN FEEL.

Byline: Barbara De Witt

Kitchens just aren't what they used to be. Oh, sure, they have microwave ovens, trash compactors and dishwashers, but have you noticed all those old-fashioned mixers, soda fountain sets, custom chrome stoves, and now curtains and accessories trimmed with gingham and eyelet?

We spotted an entire collection - actually called Vintage Inspired - at Kmart, where Martha Stewart is still a viable household name. And the tea towels are just like Mom (or Grandma) used to use when drying dishes.

Dishing more nostalgia is the OXO Good Grips company (known for utensils with really comfy handles) with its trio of new spring-loaded cookie dough scoops. Yep, they've even got three sizes so you'll be able to make exactly as many as the recipe says - and they'll look like the bakery made them (well, maybe). Look for them at kitchen and home improvement stores, priced at $8.99 to $9.99, depending on the size of the scooper.

And since women are once again becoming house mavens, they need ladylike tools. To their rescue is former Wall Street trader Barbara Kavolt. She hired a designer from Estee Lauder cosmetics to style a tool box and then filled it with 24 fix-it essentials and accessories that are lighter, smaller and feature nonslip grips that won't damage acrylic nails and French manicures. Look for her girls-only tool kit ($59.99) at department stores or www.barbarak.com.

SQUEAKY CLEAN: Dishwashing detergents have all seemed the same until we tried Thymes' new Home Keeping Collection. First of all, it's highly concentrated, so a drop will explode into a sink full of bubbles with the scent of verbena, amber, cedarwood and coriander. But the real difference is how well this biodegradable, nutrient-rich formula cleans with very little scrubbing or soaking time. Other products by the Minnesota-based company are designed for washing clothes and floors and are priced from $9 to $17. Look for the household products - as well as personal care products - in the Thymes catalog or at specialty stores, including A Touch of Beauty in Northridge and the Beauty Collection in Calabasas and Sherman Oaks. Information: (800) 366-4071 or www.thymes.com.

FREE ADVICE: For more tips on soap, send for the 3M company's free brochure called ``Tips to Relieve Home Improvement Headaches.'' One of the nifty tips we learned is to lubricate nails and screws with soap to lessen the chance of cracking the surface or bending the nail. Get the brochure by sending an e-mail with your name, address and ZIP code to SandBlasterTips(at)hunterpr.com, or sending a postcard with all your info to SandBlasters Abrasives Tips Booklet, P.O. Box 3160, Grand Rapids, MN 55745-3160.

Another freebie is the American Standard's Ideas: Kitchens & Baths Made Easy'' brochure, which can be ordered by calling (800) 899-2614.

CAPTION(S):

4 photos

Photo:

(1) no caption (OXO Good Grips' spring-loaded cookie dough scoops)

(2) no caption (Vintage-Inspired tea towel)

(3) no caption (barbara k girls-only tool kit)

(4) no caption (Thyme's Home Keeping Collection dishwashing detergent)
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jul 26, 2003
Words:506
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